7 Must-Know Tips About Managing Your Google+ Circles

Google Circles 300x300   7 Must Know Tips About Managing Your Google+ CirclesGoogle Plus isn’t dead. In fact, it’s been growing. Some people even think Google Plus will prevail big time in 2013 and they have solid arguments. This should make those happy who are already using Google Plus and are seeing its value in one way or another.

Circles is the part of Google Plus that lets you organize people you know in, well, Circles. When it comes to managing Google+ Circles, there are a few things you should know. Well managed Circles mean that you share the right things with the right people and get to see the posts you care about.

The Basics of Managing Google+ Circles

On the Circles page you can see an overview of people you have in your Circles, who have you in their Circles, you can find people based on contact data, and you can search by name. Depending on which tab you are viewing, you can sort the list by different criteria.

Google Circles People   7 Must Know Tips About Managing Your Google+ Circles

Below the lists of people, are your Circles. You might just have a few default ones or maybe you already created custom Circles. To create a new Circle, you can drag and drop people into the top left circle or you can click on it.

Google Circles Overview   7 Must Know Tips About Managing Your Google+ Circles

Note that you can add multiple people to one circle at the same time. Just select everyone you want to add from the list. When you then move one of the contacts, you are automatically moving everyone you selected.

Add Multiple People to Google Circles   7 Must Know Tips About Managing Your Google+ Circles

To select a whole list of people or a Circle, expand the Actions menu and click on Select all.

Copy Google Circle   7 Must Know Tips About Managing Your Google+ Circles

Now that you know the basics of creating Circles, let’s look at this process in more detail. Here are the things you must know to create better Circles faster and use them to your benefit.

1. People Can’t See To What Circle/s You Add Them

When you add someone to a Circle, they do get a notification, but it only tells them that you added them on Google Plus. They can not see what circle/s you added them to. View your own Google Plus Circle adds notifications to see what a notification looks like.

Added to Circles   7 Must Know Tips About Managing Your Google+ Circles

2. You Can Add People To Multiple Circles

This might not be obvious for everyone, but yes, you can have one single person in several of your Circles. And knowing that they neither see where you add them, nor that you add them to more than one Circle, should put you at ease with trying different combinations. It goes without saying that people can also not see who else is in one of your Circles with them.

3. Organize Circles Based On How You Want to Interact

You should by all means experiment with Circles and see which ones work best for you. Instead of creating Circles based on how you know people (friends, family, colleagues etc.) create Circles based on what you want to share with them or how you want to interact with them.

Remember that Circles are not only shown on Google Plus, but also as labels in Gmail. You can even search mail in Gmail by circle, e.g. circle:friends. Moreover, if you regularly use Hangouts with a specific set of people, you can use Circles as Invite lists.

4. Manage What You See In Your Home Stream

In your Home stream you can see what your Circles are sharing with you. However, you decide that is shown in the All tab and you can choose a different setting for each of your Circles.

From the menu on top of your Home stream, select one of your Circles. As you view the stream from a specific Circle, you will see a slide control in the top right. When the slider is in the left-most position, none of the posts from people in that Circle will be shown on your Home stream. In the right-most position, all posts will be shown and you will be subscribed to notifications.

Google Plus Home Stream Slide Control   7 Must Know Tips About Managing Your Google+ Circles

5. Mute Posts & Remove People

Posts on Google Plus show up based on activity, rather than the chronological order in which they were originally published. Thus it might happen that you see posts popping up in your Home stream that you no longer care for. Likewise, you may get tired of a particular person’s updates. To get rid of posts you no longer want to see, mute them or remove the respective person from the Circle.

Click the arrow head button in the top right of the post and select Mute this post to not see it pop up again or Remove from circles to see no more content from that person.

Google Plus Mute Post   7 Must Know Tips About Managing Your Google+ Circles

6. Lock Posts To Prevent Re-Sharing

Sometimes there are news you don’t want to spread. To prevent people from sharing a post, lock it.

Before sharing your update, click the arrow head in the line of who you are sharing with and select Lock this post. Here you can also disable comments. A lock symbol confirms that the post can not be re-shared.

Google Plus Lock Post   7 Must Know Tips About Managing Your Google+ Circles

7. Find Out How Your Contacts Share

Are you a little bit curious in which Circles your contacts may have you? Every post shared on Google Plus has a link that indicates how it was shared. It sits in one line with the date and time of the post and will either say Public, Extended circles, or Limited. Clicking on the link will reveal who a post was shared with or at least a selection of people it was shared with.

Google Plus Limited Post   7 Must Know Tips About Managing Your Google+ Circles

If you are curious how many people are following you, enter your Google Plus profile URL on CircleCount. The site also shows your follower history and your ranks among other Google Plus profiles.


Managing your Circles well is the key to using Google Plus efficiently. And you might first have to figure out how you actually want to use it. If you would you like to learn more check out our Google Plus guide.

How do you use Google Plus and how are you with managing Google+ circles?

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Shakirah Faleh Lai

Google+ circle is easy to manage, that’s why I love it. Nice tips.

Mac Witty

Nice, I didn’t know the “lock post” – might be handy some day

Scott Macmillan

I don’t use google plus all that much as I don’t have many friends using it,but it is dead easy to use.

prasanth vikkath

I’m not familiar with google+ circle. This article is very useful

Rubis Song

I have recently closed my facebook account and only use google + . I love your article because it’s giving me more tools to master this great social network. Thank a million!

Tina Sieber

Glad you found the article useful. I have another Google Plus article coming up that expands on the third point, i.e. ways to organize contacts in Circles.

Rubis Song

I’ll love to read it. I am still new around. Is there anyway to be informed as soon as you post it?

Tina Sieber

Good question, Rubis!

Do you use an RSS reader? You could subscribe to the Google Plus tag. Or use a service like ifttt to inform you via email when something new was added to that page. Or you could follow me on Twitter. :)

Rubis Song

You know what, Tina? I will follow you on Twitter to make sure I am not losing anything from your wise advises. And I will also suscribe to Google + tag because I am always on it.
By the way, thank you for ifttt. I didn’t know such service exists. I have always used Google Alert.


Thanks for the info., I will signup for google+ you have made it sound so inviting and easy to use. Thanks a bunch, I will follow on twitter………

Daniel Huss

It’s been a while since i’ve looked at G+, i’ll give it another go and have a look.

Roehl Curioso

I hardly use Google+ but this is useful info! Google+ need to get going before its really dead soon!!

Taswir Haider

Nice tips.I love your article because it’s giving me more tools to master this great social network.Google+ circle is easy to manage.

Nahum Larios

simple and great tips Tina

LaDonna Garner

Thanks for the tips! I need to go lock down some posts.

Najmur Rahman

I have never been comfortable with facebook. I like google plus, as one can control what to share with whom. Thanks for the post!

Najmur Rahman

I have never been comfortable with facebook. I like google plus, as one can control what to share with whom. Thanks for the post!


This was a well written article, but I don’t like Google+ because of the lack of privacy. There is no way I can prevent people from adding me from their circle (unlike Facebook where you need to confirm the friend request) and there is no way to remove myself from someone else’s circle. My name is made public in circles I don’t wish to be in.